Christy’s story as told by Mandy Underwood
I heard from someone that you beat the crap out of your mom. She had to call the police to get you off of her. You’re crazy. You’re so crazy. I think back to how I knew you were, but your dad had just died, you needed me and you kept telling me you would kill yourself if I left. How would I live with myself if you took your life because of me? You’re still alive, still haunting me. I wish I would’ve known you were bluffing.
I met you at youth group of all places. I didn’t think you were that cute. But you were nice. Everything was good for awhile, but awhile can’t last forever, I guess. You would yell at me that you were the best I could do. I didn’t want to believe you, but how could I leave you? You needed me.
The look on your face is burned in my memory. The look you had while you pinned me down to the bed and forced yourself between my breasts. When you would finish, I would go to the bathroom to clean myself off. I remember crying and staring at myself in the mirror thinking about how disgusted I was. I hated it.
I have PTSD. Not from you, but you knew about it while we were together; you didn’t care. You would choose movies that would put me into a panic. You would scream into my face that I was pathetic. I would go into the other room to escape the face-to-face hell. I would find comfort in the fat cat that you didn’t love. I would clench the cat to my chest and rock back and forth until I calmed down, rocking back and forth until I had worked up the courage to enter the hell once more.
Could you hear me crying? I hoped that you could, I hoped that someone could, and that someone would help me. When I asked your mom to take me home she helped me into the car, but she begged me to stay with you.
I had to put my foot down, since no one else would. I had enough, that moment in the movie theatre, where we were surrounded by children happily watching the film, when you tried to force my hand into your pants to pleasure you. You disgusted me, so I left you, and you hated me for it.
I was always fearful at school that you do something crazy, especially on important days. You were not at school on Valentine’s Day, and I was so relieved. When I got home though, there were flowers and chocolates on my kitchen table. My ill grandmother was staying with my family and when I asked her who they were from, she told me that my “nice boyfriend” had brought them by for me. You were in my house, lying to a sick old woman. I realized then that you would slither into my life at all costs, just to make me cringe out of fear and insecurity. What you got from me when we were together still wasn’t enough.
You had taken some naked pictures of me, and you told me you would show my mom if I didn’t come back to you. Thank God, I had told my mom everything. Thank God that didn’t work.
She said she knew you were abusive, but she didn’t want to force me not to be with you because she was worried it would make me want to stay with you more. Moms are supposed to save us, but both moms here, both of my ways out, closed me in.
I got a job, and a few days later, you got a job. The same job. You made sure we worked together. We were the only ones there, perfect for you, hell for me. You pushed me up against the wall with a serving cart. You didn’t say a word, you just stared at me, with hate in your eyes. You walked away, and I cried because I couldn’t feel safe in a place that I had to be.
You convinced all of the kitchen staff that we were dating still. Somehow you got everyone on your side, and when I denied it, I looked like the bad guy, too embarrassed to be connected to you.
You followed me out to the car one day and told me you needed to talk to me. You wanted to get into the car, and when I told you no, you tried to force your way in. You were calling me names, and I should have run over your foot. The place I was working didn’t have security cameras, so they couldn’t fire you for assault. But they made sure we never worked together again.
It’s been years, but you’re still here. Not physically, but in everything I do, you’re in the back of my mind reminding me that I can’t go back and delete you from my life. You happened, and sometimes you happen again like a movie playing on repeat in my mind. You’ve made everything harder. Harder than it was, harder than it needed to be.
I hate you for ruining the chance that I had at imagining love in an innocent way. I’ll never be able to go into a relationship without the memories replaying in my mind, keeping me from trusting fully.
I hate you for taking away my ability to be careless. A friend of a friend told me that you were trying to enroll at my college, so that you could be close to me. I don’t know where you are, but I know that I can’t take the chance of walking around my 4-year home without something to defend myself if you were to slither back in.
Nothing was enough for you, you’ve taken so much from me, but I’m sure you still want more.
This story originally appeared in Facing Teen Dating Violence, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by A Better Way in Muncie, Indiana.